[Kaimee]: 5.Short stories.Snippets

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2007-01-10 04:56:55
Warning: this is a bunch of old things I found whilst cleaning out my computer. The file was last opened 03/04/2000, when I was 12 XD
Don't blame me for the shitty quality, I just wanted you all to see the extent of my cliched cuteness as a 12 year old XD


Copyright to me! Shh!

Amia Lancaster swirled into the reception room of the Hotel della Grande and paused, counted three, then, with every eye in the room on her, announced herself, “Amie L. I believe that I have an engagement” Inwardly she sighed, all this posing and the ‘appearances’. Since ‘Great Aunt Helen’ had died everyone had wanted to be her friend on the hopes of an expensive present, or in the case of men, an expensive, rich little bride. I’m only nineteen … She was sick of it. And she had to act that stupid posturing way. All that ‘dramatic pausing’ stuff… I seriously think I'm going to be sick. Today she was seeing one of her foster aunt’s friends and some nephew or something. Probably she hopes that he and I will fall desperately in love and then she’ll have access to my money. Well they’re not going to get it. I’ll just have to put him off. He’ll probably be about seventeen looking with pimples, red sticky-outy ears and stooped shoulders. A couple disdaining looks should do it.
She was being shown into a small but extremely well appointed and decorated room. She refused point blank to entertain guests in her home and instead forced them to meet her here. She was well known at the Hotel della Grande now. She prepared to make her ‘entrance’ and prepared her face for derisive and aloof looks, one for the nephew and the latter for her guest. She swept into the room shooting each a glance… and stopped. That was no gawky adolescent. He had to be well into his late twenties or early thirties and he was returning her look with a real look of his own. She flushed and looked towards the aunt who appeared completely oblivious of the situation. She did the polite greeting thing with the aunt and remembered to take in the names, Mrs Francesca Williams-Blake and Alec Blake Jr. Alec, that’s a nice name…


What a stupid thing to say, Elsie thought furiously at her, hoping she’d read the message in her eyes and leave her to cry. And what an ignorant old woman. They all were, they were always trying to marry her off to their son or brother or nephew. How could she even think of marriage so soon after… At her sigh, her aunt Catharine demanded what was wrong. She knew the child was still mourning. Everyone who had ever met him was still mourning him and over a year since it happened. It had been a tragedy. If only Antony would come home to comfort Elsie. They had been the best of friends before shed met Alec, and even after, he was the only other she deigned not to ignore in preference of catching her beloveds every word. The most talked of engagement, her; stunningly beautiful in her joy and him; with happy, laughing grey eyes. Even the mothers of other marriageable girls weren’t jealous at the one who had thrown their own into the shade, as they were so obviously and deliriously happy. And all it took was a shot…she broke out of thought realising that Elsie hadn’t answered and they had both been too immersed to notice the butler hemming and hawing at the door. ‘Yes?’ she asked surprised. There shouldn’t be any callers and shed already given the mornings orders.


She pelted as fast as she could towards the edge of the trees, not caring about any noise in a familiar jungle that was hers alone, shared only with imported exotic animals. She felt the vines and twigs whipping at her arms, legs and face but made no effort to slow down or avoid them; there wasn’t time. The acrid smell of smoke, long unfamiliar, filled the back of her throat and hung low to the ground but she still blinked, her eyes stinging. There; light where the trees thinned and there, she stopped, and bent, panting with her hands on her thighs, suddenly aware of the harsh noise of her breathing where there had been no one to hear her before. But now there was and she knew what she had to do. Controlling her breathing she straightened up and put her shoulders back and lifted her chin, stepping out into the circle of light. She met his eyes for the first time in years and realised nothing had changed. She had to get him out of her jungle.


She scrunched her eyes closed against the harsh overhead light and tried not to let herself cry, or if she did, at least not make a noise. She sat with her knees bent up and rested her face and arms on them, trying to hide in the dark she created. It didn’t work. A whimper escaped her throat as a booted foot nudged her in the leg and its owner laughed harshly at her flinch. She opened her eyes wide against the dark of her sleave, not bearing to face whatever was coming with her eyes closed. But nothing came. After a few tense seconds of waiting she slowly lifted her head slightly to see what was going on and saw the legs of another man cross the room to them. The first man grumbled and shuffled quickly into the next room. She quickly scrunched her eyes shut and tried not to move, she heard the grate of denim 
as he knelt down beside her. She waited for whatever was coming but was shocked at what did. “Hey” he murmured, his voice low and warm and before she could stop herself, her head had already turned upward, looking up at him out of eyes swollen by weeks of tears and abuse. "Shhhhhhhhhh" he whispered and drew her to his chest as she crumbled into tears. 


The sky was glowing with dark reds and blacks. Even the birds were silent. It was strange. No one noticed they were gone until after. There was no noise. No television, no radio, no voices, no traffic. Just that blaring, that noise that was barely noticeable anymore because it had been playing for so many weeks now. ‘Please do not panic, we are in a state of emergency. Please move in an orderly fashion towards your allocated bomb or emergency evacuation shelters…’ on a permanent loop until the windmills stopped working either because the wind was extinct as well, or the world really did end. Huh, if the world hadn’t already ended then what was this? That recording, that calm never-expected-to-be-used-voice had been all many people could hear before they finally died. On the roads, outside, clawing at the doors. Draped in the doors if they’d been stupid enough to open them once the blasts went off. The air was stale inside. Better than outside though. Outside were noxious gases, alien diseases, mobile cancers, anything if you believed those very last printed newspapers.
There were rags stuffed into all the cracks. It was pitch black, with the only light coming in through the windows, a faint red glow. In the beginning, some people had had lanterns, face masks, had set up “airlocks” so they could go outside to retrieve what was left of the people they used to know. Dried out husks. Mostly. There were still pockets of people left in the houses. Not that any of them would last for more than another few weeks… at the most. The most horrible thing was your neighbours. The same people that had eavesdropped on arguments with your parents, who’s windows looked into yours; you could watch them die. Through those same windows, with their familiar glimpses of kitchens and bedrooms, you watched them slowly go insane or starve or sicken with the disease the blast had let out, if there was a crack or gap in their rags. There were children in there. Kids without parents, whose parents had told them to ‘wait there’. You saw them, watched them die. Watched them figure out that mummy and daddy weren’t coming back. And you couldn’t do anything, because they were Out There and Out There was death.


The first days.
I think I’ll never be so calm again in my life. That’s what it was. Calm. Quiet. Suddenly, all my priorities were right. I knew that some things just didn’t matter anymore. But then, now that I knew what did, there wasn’t anything I could do. For less than a week the country had known it was at war when it hit us. We were the last. The other countries were fighting against it before we even knew it was there. Not that anyone knew what ‘it’ was. The scientists reports said that a top secret colonising mission sent out 50 years ago, in the early 90s, had returned with the news that there were no more oxygen-carbon systems close enough to be reached in several lifetimes even with the new ‘skip jumps’ they had developed. They also said it had accidentally brought back a parasitic alien, deadly to our race. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were other stories too. A few live broadcasts had terrorist groups claiming responsibility, some with mad scientists, newspaper headlines proclaiming Gods wrath or, alternately, Raelian cultists creating an early Armageddon in order to meet their “fellow alien”, God. Of all the stories, only one thing was sure: there was no possible cure; no way a human body could fight this. The proof was the millions of corpses, mummified husks, lying knee deep in the cities; draped across the paths, half out of cars or just slumped at whatever they happened to have been doing. But we had been fine. We didn’t have to be afraid. We weren’t at war. Then the blasts began. In the first city, no one got out. No one outside even found out for hours because there was no one left alive to spread the word. No one had a chance. Then the sirens started. There was a ‘state of emergency’ loudspeaker set up; replaying, over and over, a warning and, when blasts got nearer the cities, people were urged to evacuate, to hide in bomb shelters, to hide. Most people barely made it to their houses. The people with potted plants made it longest. They had air. The others gradually suffocated or, thinking it was safe, carefully ventured outside. They went Out There. They didn’t come back in. Even if they had been alive no one would have let them in. No one knew how the virus worked. Except quickly. People grew harsh when it was their own life on the line. After only a few days of the blasts, people’s faces grew stone like. Ridges formed, and deep creases. Faces set like masks; all the same. They said Go Away. We will Live even if You have to Die. They said nothing more clearly. Children watched as their parents refused to let them inside, grew frantic at the wave of ripples in the air, headed towards them; collapsed, screaming when it did. Not for long though. You may think those parents were harsh. But it was survival of the fittest. Those that opened the doors for people they knew, loved; they died. The people with them died. With no one even to remember who they were, that this lump was a baby that had smiled at her brother, that this heap of rubble had once been a mother, had children somewhere.

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